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Terrorist who plotted attack on Luton Territorial Army centre faces an extra five years in jail for refusing to hand over computer password

By Luton On Sunday  |  Posted: January 14, 2014

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A TERRORIST who plotted an attack on a Territorial Army centre is facing an extra five years in jail for refusing to hand over his computer password.

Syed Hussain, 22, was part of a Luton-based cell which discussed attacking MI5, the US Air Force, the English Defence League and their local shopping centre.

He was jailed for five years and three months at Woolwich Crown Court last April.

Hussain failed to meet a deadline to reveal the key to an encrypted USB stick found at his home during the police investigation.

He was today convicted by a jury of failing to comply with a disclosure order after a short trial at the Old Bailey.

The jury took just 19 minutes to reach its guilty verdict.

Prosecutor Alex Chalk said the files contain evidence that he carried out a possible fraud and that Hussain deliberately withheld the key for 20 months.

He said: 'This is a case about a USB stick that was seized by police as part of an investigation into terrorism.

'It is alleged that Mr Hussain failed to comply with a deadline to reveal the password to that device.

'He pleaded guilty to the terrorism which forms the context to this case and he has been sentenced for that.

'This is about his failure to reveal the password.

'We say that he always knew the password and only disclosed it, as he recently did in December a year or so after the notice, because he thought it would be in his interests to do so.'

Hussain will be sentenced tomorrow (weds) at 10am. The maximum penalty for the offence is five years imprisonment.

Last March he admitted conspiring to send a remote-controlled toy car carrying a home-made bomb under the gates of a Territorial Army centre in Luton.

Police searched his home in March 2011 as part of an investigation into the terrorist offences.

Officers found a USB stick and external memory drive which were both encrypted with a password.

Hussain refused to hand over the passwords and claimed the hardware was not working.

The devices were sent away to NTAC (National Technical Assistance Centre) and both passwords were revealed to be the same phrase from the Koran, the court heard.

'The police examined the contents of the items,' Mr Chalk said.

'On the external hard drive police discovered large volumes of material glorifying jihad and practical guidance on carrying out acts of terrorism.

In April 2012 officers searched Hussain's address and found another encrypted USB stick.

When questioned by police he said he could not remember the password because he was 'stressed'.

Hussain only revealed the password in December 2013 after officers informed him that they wanted to question him over the alleged fraud.

The password turned out to be the same phrase from the Koran that he had used before.

The USB was decrypted and police found material linking the defendant to an alleged fraud,' Mr Chalk said.

'He was interviewed on suspicion of fraud and asked about the decrypted material.

'Those investigations remain live.

'The defendant maintained for 20 months he could not remember the password.

'Just months before this trial and when he was told he would be interviewed on suspicion of fraud he said he remembered.'

Hussain, of Cornel Close, Luton, admitted one count of engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism between 1 January 2011 and 25 April 2012.

He denied failing to comply with a disclosure order. Hussain has not been charged with fraud.

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